October 12, 2019

Fireborne Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1) 
Author: Rosaria Munda 
Genre: YA Fantasy/Dragons
Release Date: October 15, 2019
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Seraphina meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that's full of rivalry, romance... and dragons.

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves...or step up to be the champion her city needs.

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.
Fireborne is the first book in a new young adult fantasy series that will leave readers begging for more. This is one of the rare books where I can't really find fault with any aspect of the novel - I pretty much liked everything. There were a few things that stood out to me though. The plot isn't completely fresh and unique - it's pretty much impossible to find that in any genre anymore - but the author puts her own touches and twists to make it stand out from the others out there right now. The world building was very well done - to the point I could just close my eyes and picture myself right alongside Lee or Annie at any moment during the story. I loved learning about how the society was before and after the Revolution, what caused the Revolution, and the other intricate details the author uses to bring this world to life. 

Secondly, the characters were fantastic. I really liked both Lee and Annie. They were both very interesting and realistic. I loved learning all I could about each of them - their pasts, families, possible futures, and everything in between. We really get to know Lee and Annie throughout the book because the author uses the first person point of view to tell the story - from both characters' perspectives. I love the first person and almost always prefer it to any other writing style, and this book was no exception. I feel like the reader gets to know the main character(s) on a much deeper and more personal level this way. We get to go inside both Lee and Annie's minds to discover all their secrets, memories, hopes and fears, dreams, innermost thoughts, and everything in between. I really felt connected to each character separately because of this writing style, which only brought the book and the characters themselves alive before my eyes. There is the mystery third person narrator who pops in every once and awhile and tells us bits of information and scenes from the past that will go on to influence the story. I liked that the author added this bit of mystery to the story and also appreciate that it helped to set the scene and gives the reader information that they'll need to understand coming up in the story. This was an amazing first book in what promises to be an adventurous and adrenaline-filled new series. I'll definitely be waiting for the next book to come out. I very highly recommend this novel to fans of YA fiction, fantasy, paranormal, historical fiction, and those that love great world building and, of course, dragons.
Rosaria grew up in rural North Carolina, where she climbed trees, read Harry Potter fanfiction, and taught herself Latin. She studied political theory at Princeton and lives in Chicago with her husband and cat.

For book recs and updates, follow her on instagram: @rosariamunda
Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1) by Rosaria Munda (US/CAN Only)

Book Blitz + Giveaway: To Wake the Dead by Sarah Lampkin


To Wake the Dead (Dead Dreamer #2)
Author: Sarah Lampkin
Genre: New Adult Paranormal
Publication Date: October 8, 2019


Brenna Whit teeters the line between the living and the dead. Now that she’s back for her sophomore year at Nephesburg College, she’s determined to focus on the waking world. But when her own soul is trying to kill her and a new Dead Dreamer is fighting for power, Brenna is dragged back into the world of the dead.

The Gatekeepers are doing everything they can to restore the power they once held over the town of Nephesburg. With a mysterious set of twins arriving in town to help them prepare, Brenna must decide what’s important: continuing to hide her secret or reveal herself and fight for what she believes is right. The decision could end up leading to a permanent death for Brenna so she must choose wisely.

Classes have begun…
The battlefield is set…
Let the fight for the Fade begin.

Who wrote the laws saying that doorways must be sealed? Who told you to create another one of you?”

“The church.”

“Why?” He was silent. For once, he had no answer. He merely stared at me, not blinking or unwavering as his eyes locked on mine. I thought I had him; nowhere in the Bible did it say to interfere with the dead or the other side. In fact, the Scripture scorned it. If I remembered correctly, that would border on witchcraft and necromancy, which was forbidden. So, if Wilson were the type to follow the Bible no matter what, then these questions just pushed his logic out the window. Even if the church said he had to do those things, who was to say they were right?”

A native of Richmond, Virginia, Sarah Lampkin is a 2015 graduate from Lynchburg College [University of Lynchburg] with a master’s degree in English. Since graduation, Sarah now lives in Northern Virginia working in the IT field as a Technical Writer while continuing her research for her graduate school thesis. When she isn’t working, Sarah continues her Celtic mythology research and Gaelic studies, while working on the Dead Dreamer series.

Although she currently lives in Northern Virginia, Sarah frequently travels back home to Richmond to visit family, friends, and her godchildren. During the winter months, she is in Richmond more frequently to spend time in the woods hunting and contemplating the meaning of life. She doesn’t always succeed in both endeavors, but the music of nature is worth it for peace of mind. In her free time, she likes to play RPG video games, and preparing for hunting season.

Her work mainly focuses on Celtic themes, mixed with elements from the spiritual world. And her characters always have a flair of attitude and sarcasm because writing damsels in distress is something she just can’t do.

She currently writes for The Parliament House and is seeking a literary agent.


October 11, 2019

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Tesoro by Nicole Banks


Author: Nicole Banks

Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
Publication Date: June 1, 2018


Tommy worked hard to establish a life outside of his father’s legacy. Son to the infamous Delucia family, he’s the heir to a throne he doesn’t want. As loyalties keep pulling him back in, he struggles to obtain a clean break. Becoming a new man is just out of arm’s reach.

Naila is a sassy, headstrong entrepreneur with businesses in the Delucia territory. A chance meeting between the two has Tommy questioning everything about his life and what his future holds.

As circumstances keep putting them in each other’s paths, the two can’t deny the building chemistry between them. As passions ignite, so does the tension surrounding the Delucia family, catching them both in the crosshairs of an all-out war.

When the dust settles, there’s only one question remaining: how deep are they willing to go?


“Tesoro,” he praised, “women were meant to be wild, messy, and fierce. If your man can’t handle the wild woman you are…” He kissed her cheek and brought his lips towards her ear. “You deserve better,” he whispered. “You deserve a man who’s going to light your soul on fire and enhance your wild spirit. You’re too beautiful to be tamed and that’s exactly what he’ll do to you.”

He stepped back, handing her the cupcake. “Women should be able to enjoy their cake any way they want to.” He winked at her and headed for the exit.

“Tesoro,” He crooned. He reached his hands up to touch her but thought better of it. Instead, he placed both hands on either side of her head, effectively caging her in.

Tommy dipped his head so he was eye level with her. “Since you seem so certain that this will be a business-only relationship.” His lips turned up into a carnal grin, and Naila’s knees almost buckled. “I should tell you, our bickering is turning into my personal favorite type of foreplay.”

Creatively living through music, writing and yoga.

I love the arts and how they move you and make you feel.

Reading has always been a great love of mine right after my love of music. Each song written is a story waiting to be told. Which, along with my over active imagination fueled my desire to write about the chaos that goes on in my head.

I love stringing words together. I love making people get lost in a story and connecting with fictional characters that remind them of someone they know.

I published my first book Shattered in 2013. It's the first installment in the Shattered Hearts Series.
Shattered started out as an assignment for a college course I took at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. After I graduated college I went through my old papers and reconnected with the story morphing into so much more then what I wrote in my college course.

Now you can find me doing yoga, listening to music and working on getting out all the stories in my head, including dabbling in poetry. (Which I've always had a secret love affair with).


October 10, 2019

Matt Monroe and the Haunted House Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


Matt Monroe and the Haunted House
Author: Edward Torba
Release Date: October 15, 2019
Publisher: All Points Press, Inc.
Ages: 9-12


A haunted mansion. 
A community at risk. 
A group of teens with mysterious abilities. 

Strange sightings at the Payne mansion and baffling incidents in the countryside place the community of Kingston on edge. Did opening the portal to Paragon draw evil entitites to Kingston? In facing this new threat, Matt Monroe soon realizes he is not the only one who has secret talents. Many of his companions have hidden abilities which are exposed as Matt and his friends confront a terrifying, ethereal foe. 

Matt Monroe and the Haunted House is a thrilling middle grade fantasy that fans of the genre are sure to enjoy. I don't normally read this genre, so I was out of my comfort zone. There were several aspects of the book that I liked and some that I didn't. The major characters, including our main character Matt, were well rounded and realistic. They had positive traits and flaws that made them easier for the reader to identify with. Matt is smart, gifted, brave, and willing to do what he has to in order for things to go back to normal. I liked seeing his character figure out problems and overcome obstacles. The plot was definitely interesting and had a pretty quick pace. Although the story itself wasn't wholly original, the author puts his own touches in order to give it his own twist. 

There were two things that bugged me about this book, but they both come back to writing style. First of all, the story is told in the third person from Matt's perspective. I personally am not a fan of this style and almost always prefer the first person point of view. I felt like I didn't get to connect with Matt enough for the story to really draw me in. Another thing that I didn't like was how the story is told in a really weird way. I'm not sure how to explain it, but the writing just felt off to me. Like the writing didn't fit with a middle grade fantasy novel, but something much heavier - like an adult drama or something. Between these two issues, I personally wasn't able to get into the story like I normally do. I also couldn't really relate to the main character either, which I think is an important part of the reading experience. Please remember that these are my own personal opinions and not everyone is going to feel the same way. For me, it was a solid novel that fans of the genre should give a try.
Edward Torba is a life-long resident of Latrobe, PA. Ed enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh after graduating from Derry Area High School in 1969. He graduated from Pitt, majoring in Biology in 1973. It was at this time in his life that he had to decide between dentistry or a career in marine biological research. He chose dentistry. Also attending Pitt, he received his Doctorate in Dental Medicine in 1977.

Enter For A Chance To Win A Matt Monroe Series Gift Basket!

One (1) grand prize winner receives

  • A copy of Matt Monroe and the Secret Society of Odontology (Book 1)
  • An advanced reader copy of Matt Monroe and the Haunted House (Book 2)
  • Dental supplies!
Two (2) winners receive:

  • A copy of Matt Monroe and the Haunted House (Book 2)
Two (2) winners receive:

  • A digital copy of Matt Monroe and the Haunted House (Book 2)
This digital prize is open to worldwide entrants.

Giveaway begins October 1, 2019, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends October 31, 2019, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

Open to international addresses and the legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who are eighteen years of age or older in their state or territory of residence at the time of entry. Void where prohibited by law.
New Shelves Books is responsible for prize fulfillment.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

 *Disclosure: I partnered with The Children's Book Review and New Shelves Books to bring you this post and giveaway.*


Book Blast + Giveaway: The Double Helix by Trudi Trueit


The Double Helix (Explorer Academy series)

Author: Trudi Trueit
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Publisher: Under the Stars 
Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Grade Level: 3 - 7
Hardcover: 216 pages


The mystery deepens and the action intensifies for 12-year-old Cruz Coronado and friends in the exciting third book in the Explorer Academy series.

The adventure continues for Cruz, Emmett, Sailor, and Bryndis as they continue their studies at sea and travel to exotic locations around the world. A mysterious person alerts Cruz to impending danger while he and a few trusted pals explore ancient ruins in Petra, Jordan, and search for another piece of the puzzle his mother left behind. Worst of all, now his father has gone missing, which prompts Aunt Marisol, his number one protector, to leave the ship in search of him. Who is the new professor who takes her place? How does the new technology he introduces help or hurt Cruz's quest? Why is Nebula determined to stop Cruz before he turns 13? The clock is ticking as his first teen birthday draws near ... a milestone that will change his life forever, one way or another.

Praise for EXPLORER ACADEMY Series:

“This series opener from a new imprint of National Geographic is a fully packed high-tech adventure that offers both cool, educational facts about the planet and a diverse cast of fun characters.” ―Kirkus

“This exciting series opener introduces young readers to the joys of science and nature.” ―Publisher’s Weekly

“Sure to appeal to kids who love code cracking and mysteries with cutting-edge technology.” ―Booklist

“A fun, exciting, and action-packed ride that kids will love.” ―J.J. Abrams, director and screenwriter of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Lost,” “Alias”

“Inspires the next generation of curious kids to go out into our world and discover something unexpected.” ―James Cameron, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and acclaimed film-maker

“Explorer Academy is sure to awaken readers’ inner adventurer and curiosity about the world around them. But you don’t have to take my word for it, check out Cruz, Emmett, Sailor, and Lani’s adventures for yourself!” ―LeVar Burton, host of “Reading Rainbow” and “LeVar Burton Reads”

“Absolutely Brilliant! Explorer Academy is a fabulous feast for the mind and heart — a thrilling, inspiring journey with compelling characters, wonderous places, and the highest possible stakes. Just as there’s only one planet Earth, there’s only one series like this. Don’t wait another instant to enjoy this phenomenal adventure!” ―T.A. Barron, author of the Merlin Saga

“In the midst of fast-paced action, Explorer Academy captures the power of learning through exploration. The excitement of hands-on discovery is modeled in Cruz’s adventures, which encourages kids to take on the mind-set of explorers.” ―Daniel Raven-Ellison, National Geographic Explorer and Guerilla Geographer

You can purchase Explorer Academy: The Double Helix at the following Retailers:
Photo Content from Trudi Trueit

Trudi Trueit is a gifted storyteller for middle-grade audiences. She has written more than 100 books for young readers, both fiction and nonfiction, including The Sister Solution, Stealing Popular and the Secrets of a Lab Rat series. Trueit lives in Everett, Washington.
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